The Disability Center was founded in the 1970s, and Is part of Mizzou’s strong history of supporting students with disabilities.
Read more about how the Disability Center supports students on campus.
What is your role on campus?
The Disability Center’s role is to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access and opportunity. The primary way we do that is through establishing accommodations in the academic, housing, parking, dining and clinical settings. Beyond accommodation, we serve as a resource. We host events to raise awareness and support our community by making sure that we are all working towards building a more inclusive campus for disabled students.
What resources do you offer students with disabilities?
All accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the student’s need.
Academic accommodations can include things from extended time on exams and distraction reduced environments during exams to providing note-taking assistance, captioning and sign language interpreters. We work with the Adaptive Computing Technology Center to secure Braille to convert print textbooks into digital format for students with a print-related disability to have that read out loud with assistive technology. The accommodations are broad, and we don’t have an exhaustive list. We’re continuously looking at what is the best way to address what students need in that environment. We’re doing that with clinical accommodations.
We also offer scholarships through our office that donors have established, and we have the privilege of reviewing those applications and awarding those scholarships to students.
What role do faculty play in the accommodation process?
The faculty play an important part in helping students feel comfortable about requesting accommodations and learning about our office. Faculty are one of the main ways students say they learn about us. Faculty help by talking about our office on that first day of classes. There is a recommended statement that faculty can include in their syllabus. One of the main reasons why students don’t request accommodations is they are apprehensive about how their instructor is going to react when they get the accommodation letter. Having the talk about accommodations in an open classroom setting helps set the tone for students.
How can students get in touch with you to learn more?
The best way to get more information about our offices is to visit our website. Our student tab is where students can learn more about the process of requesting accommodations, scholarships and the Peer Mentoring Program. The families tab on our website is for students who may have had an accommodation in K through 12. Those accommodations are very different on the collegiate level. This tab is written for our parents and talks about the differences between high school and college and what to expect.
How can students apply?
To establish eligibility for our accommodations, students must self-identify. We don’t know that you have a disability until you tell us. Filling out an online application on our website is really an introduction to the student. After we get that online application, they’ll meet with an access advisor for what we call an access planning meeting. We talk more about their experiences and review their recommendation request.
Our access advisors are assigned to academic units. So, depending on what school or college the student is in, that’s the access advisor that they would meet with. A student in the Sinclair School of Nursing may have different demands and expectations than somebody who’s in journalism. This gives an opportunity for the access advisors to be intentional as they’re working with students.